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The Five Keys To Marketing

Here is a perspective on the five key arenas that marketers will grapple with:

Marketing as Mobilization: In a world of Twitter, Facebook, Google + and other social platforms, marketing will increasingly resemble political campaigns with Brands mobilizing and incentivizing their advocates to market to their friends and communities. They will also staff up to quickly address and limit the impact of negative streams of publicity such as complaints before they hurt the brand. The emphasis will be on marketing in real time, providing clear value and recognizing that what people say about a brand is more important than what a brand says about itself. Engaging the “peoples network” will be as, if not more critical than leveraging television, retail and other media networks. To do this many companies will recognize that the key challenge is not to develop a Facebook presence but update the corporate communications, legal and marketing infrastructure of their organizations and those of their partners.

Marketing to a New Mindset: Today, all around the world, people are not just more empowered and informed but they also are far less trusting of business and political organizations, leaders of all sorts and flatulence filled, florid, fancy marketing. They are looking for authenticity, community, value, relevance and simplicity. There is a gaping divide between the rulers and the ruled, between marketers, and customers and between the senior leaders and the rank and file.  It is going to be critical to get real and stop repeating old shibboleths or behaving in ways that make so many leaders caricatures of themselves. Get real. Get great. Or you may be forced to get out. Personal re-invention critical.

Marketing’s future will be increasingly determined outside the confines of the “marketing industry”:  In addition to empowered customers, the biggest challenges to the status quo will continue to come from outside the marketing industry. Remember the day that meetings of industry groups were quite incestuous and closed? Those days changed as digital media eroded the differences between video, print and audio. Today, magazines and newspapers and television are all multi-media organizations broadening their competitive and opportunity set. Not so long ago “outsiders” like Google, Apple, Microsoft, Samsung and Facebook became the future of the industry.  We expect this trend will continue with a vengeance with Adobe, IBM and many others from the tech industry bringing forth one front while names we have never heard of from both global markets and garages will continue to press us to stop thinking narrowly and becoming more open in both mindset and partnering.  It is no surprise that the International Consumer Electronic Show in Las Vegas next week will be as important as Cannes to the Advertising industry.

Significant Restructuring of Marketing Organizations of All Types: Todays marketing organizations at Clients, Agencies and Suppliers are struggling to cope because they lack the right talent, organizational and service/product mix that they need to compete in an age of marketing as mobilization and to an highly empowered customer with a changing mindset. Marketing will have to be world class within organizations since it will be a critical part of the future of all companies. We will begin in 2012 to see significant restructuring and blowing up of existing marketing hierarchies and leaders. It will be messy, bloody and chaotic but the future does not fit in the mindsets or containers of the past and what will need to be done will be done.

Marketing basics will grow more important: In a fragmenting and fast moving world Brands will matter more since Brands are the ultimate search engines and navigation lighthouses. The great ones are trust marks. Storytelling will continue to be critical and there will be new ways to not just tell stories but have others participate in the stories. Joan Didion wrote “we tell ourselves stories in order to live” and in many ways brands that are alive and vital are stories. Finally the science of marketing particularly finding the right audience in the right mindset and right context to engage in story and brand building will be even more important and fortunately we will have amazing new technologies to make it happen.

The future of marketing is very bright since it is about identifying and meeting customer requirements and in an age of empowered consumers this skill will be increasingly critical. But, for both marketing and marketers to get to the next level we will have to work hard, learn a lot and change our approaches and mindsets in ways that will truly test our mettle.

So lets get going! ‘[tweetmeme source=”@rishadt” only_single=false]’

12 comments on “The Five Keys To Marketing

  1. Greg Satell says:

    Great post Rishad! I especially agree with the last point. Many people thought that e-commerce would make brands irrelevant, because consumers have much more information available to them. In fact, the opposite has happened, for two reasons.

    First, brands confer trust, which is essential in the digital environment. Second, and perhaps more important, digital technology condenses the path to purchase, encouraging faster decision making, which favors emotional processes over rational ones.

    Have a great New Year! Looking forward to seeing you in Las Vegas.

    – Greg

  2. Rishad,

    So agree. I would only add that the polarity of the conversation between brands and consumer will reverse even more and customer curatorship drives brand awareness. Completely agree about the need to reorg and the persistent importance of storytelling. Happy New Year, Rishad!

  3. Great reading. I feel that I will be coming back to your list throughout 2012 Rishad, to check on the progress I see with clients and partners. Your list is so on-target because it hits on both consumer-driven and organizationally-driven influencers for all marketers.
    Happy New Year,

  4. Dino Maiolo says:

    I was struck by one of your first points “…staff up to quickly address and limit the impact of negative streams of publicity… ”

    Not only are SMBs still very much afraid of negative reviews, but there are so many ways to publicly damage business reputations through blog posts and social media platforms that business owners will invest in ways to protect their brand. How difficult is it to create individual web pages and blogs designed to ruin a brand’s credibility among consumers? Not very. It can be done anonymously and inexpensively as well.

    I see an increasing opportunity in 2012 for marketers to address the need for reputation management for their clients..

  5. No matter the medium, or the changing dynamics, fundamentals do matter. And always will.

  6. Wonderful thought. So much to relate with

  7. Sue Blaney says:

    Great post…esp love “…We will begin in 2012 to see significant restructuring and blowing up of existing marketing hierarchies and leaders. It will be messy, bloody and chaotic but the future does not fit in the mindsets or containers of the past and what will need to be done will be done.”

  8. Pratik Joshi says:

    Excellent post….. I got huge knowledge and happiness after reading this post. Sir, Can you describe more that is any protocol which is used in marketing?

  9. boondabandi says:

    I agree. First came Globalization and now we’re living in the golden age of Socialization. Nevertheless I have a question for you (Rishad). How can we mobilize the on ground components of marketing? For e.g. event management and brand activation

    1. rishadt says:

      It is critical to understand that there is less and less of a divide between analog and digital. For instance mobility connects place (events, in store) to the Internet and makes them digital. Social media does too. The key is to ensure that you think paid, owned, earned and not above line and below line and plan your ground events in a way they are both informed by and inform your other marketing initiatives.

  10. Reblogged this on P.W.O. and commented:
    As I begin the journey of Brand Management, I have researched companies to see what I was up against. I’m always looking to see what everybody else is doing so that I can see where I am. Information is key when it comes to giving brands what they want. You have to be prepared. I wanted to share this information that I came across that is very useful.

  11. As usual you were dead on. Sadly this is still a to do list for 2013.

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